UP NEXT  Bescot Banter logo WEST BROMWICH ALBION (HOME) - TUESDAY, 27TH JULY 2021 - 7.30PM

Match Report: Scunthorpe United 1 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash between Play-Off chasing Scunthorpe United and relegation-threatened Walsall.
The Saddlers were in desperate need of three points heading into this afternoon's clash with the Play-Off placed Iron, especially with the match coming off the back of a disappointing defeat to AFC Wimbledon, which saw Dean Keates's side concede three unanswered second-half goals to lose the match by three-goals-to-two.

Walsall began the brightly, but only six minutes in, they allowed Scunthorpe United to get through on goal. Conor Townsend and Ivan Toney did well in the build-up, before passing to Jordan Clarke who set up Ryan Yates who fired home from close range, but the Saddlers were, thankfully, let off as the goal was ruled out for  offside.

It wasn't long before the Saddlers created their first chance of the game, as nine minutes in, a clever ball from Luke Leahy found Bakayoko, who picked out Julien Ngoy allowing the Stoke City loanee a shot on goal, but the ball in was too close to Matt Gilks who comfortably saved.

Scunthorpe soon had the ball back at the other end, thanks to some good work from Josh Morris on the left wing before a cross was swung in for Toney, but the effort on goal was gathered by Liam Roberts. The host continued to press, with Morris again involved moments later as he looked to set up Clarke but the Saddlers defences were on hand to deflect the ball to Roberts who held.

As we headed into the twentieth minute, there was a break in play as assistant referee, Helen Byrne indicated she was unable to continue and a change in official was organised with the fourth official taking her place on the touchline.

As the match got back underway, Ngoy looked to find an opening for the Saddlers, but Yates was on hand for the hosts to block the effort on goal.

The pace slowed following the change, with both sides enjoying spells of possession without causing their opposition any real problems.

Scunthorpe were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position in the thirty-eighth minute for a foul on Morris, who took the set-piece, curling the ball over the wall and onto the outside of the post before the Saddlers cleared the danger as the ball rebounded back into play.

Walsall won a corner in the forty-third minute as a clever ball in from Bakayoko from the left-wing was blocked by Scunthorpe captain, Rory McArdle. The ball into the box was met by Murray Wallace who put the ball out for a second corner, which his teammates were able to clear.

Four additional minutes were played to end the half, but neither side was able to find a breakthrough and the scores remained tied as the teams headed off for their half-time refreshments.

0 - 0

Both sides returned unchanged following the break, and the match got back underway. Walsall started the second-half brightly, and six minutes in created the first chance of the half as Leahy picked up the ball in the box and fired a powerful shot goal-wards, forcing Gilks to turn it behind. The resulting corner was cleared behind and the following corner came to nothing as the Iron's defences stood firm.

With just fifty-five minutes on the clock, Scunthorpe opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Hakeeb Adelakun making way for Cameron McGeehan.

McGeehan was soon involved in the action, picking up the ball in the area and beating his man before Morris and Townsend combined to force a save from Roberts.

As we headed past the hour mark, some good work from George Dobson saw the Saddlers worked the ball to the other end, where Gilks was forced to get down low to stop a Bakayoko effort. The hosts were soon back troubling the Walsall goal, with Roberts forced down low to push a Funso Ojo shot round the post. The resulting corner saw Clarke rise well, but Bakayoko was on hand for Walsall and headed clear.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, Walsall captain, Adam Chambers became the first player to enter the referee's notebook, picking up a yellow card for a foul on Duane Holmes.

In the sixty-ninth minute, the Iron opted to make their second change of the game, with Ivan Toney making way for Lee Novak. Moments later, the Saddlers chose to make their first substitution, with Julien Ngoy being replaced by Erhun Oztumer for the final twenty minutes.

Rory McArdle became the second player to enter the referee's notebook in the seventy-fourth minute as he picked up a yellow card for fouling Bakayoko on the edge of the area. The resulting free-kick was curled harmlessly wide by Oztumer.

With seventy-six minutes on the clock, Scunthorpe found the breakthrough, taking the lead thanks to a diving header from Yates which sailed into the bottom corner.

In the eighty-first minute, Walsall opted to make their final two changes as they looked to get back into the game, with Liam Kinsella and Kieron Morris making way for Florent Cuvelier and Justin Shaibu.

Four minutes were added to end the game, during which time Scunthorpe made the third and final change to their line-up as they looked to run down the clock, replacing Duane Holmes with Marnick Vermijl. There was no further action of note, as Scunthorpe saw out the final few moments with their one-goal-to-nil lead intact.

A disappointing afternoon for the Saddlers, who failed to secure a goal or point from the fixture to inch them away from the drop-zone. Still all to play for with three games remaining, but further performances of a similar nature could see the boys from the Bescot heading out of League One.

1 - 0
Yates (76')

Attendance: 4,083
Referee: David Webb

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